Millinery course (masterclass for stage costumes)

Today I want to talk about a 3-day-millinery course I was able to attend in school. It was exclusive for the masterclass for stage costumes and it was optional to participate.

First things first: What did I choose to make?
Well. We had to make a headpiece and an extra thing for our costumes, we’re making in school. Since I don’t have a hat or something similar and am confident to make my hair-decoration I will need by myself, I decided to make a top hat! Top hats work with so many historical outfits and also fit almost throughout the whole 19th century.
I also love the look of them and I want to make a riding habit sometime soon too to wear it with.
For my headpiece I decided to make a 20s inspired headband. I think they look very elegant and since we’re entering the new 20s soon I thought this was quite fitting.

Since we are a class for stage costumes our course teacher was from a theatre and we used the techniques she uses there.

I startet with my top hat which was quite fascinating.
The first thing I had to do was steaming the felt to the hat block. This was quite easy and the fabric was almost molding itself to the wood. then I had to stitch together the seam and the top of the hat. This again was put over the hat block.
Then I also had to but the felt on the brim block where it also got steamed and secured with pins and a string.
The last step on the first day for this hat was drenching everything in a chemical starch (It’s called BBC50 here and smells like nail polish remover only A LOT stronger).

I also started with my headpiece on this day with felt which was pre-starched with BBC50. I decided what shape I wanted, cut it out, pinned it to a wood head and steamed it into shape.

The next two days we took the things off of the blocks and I startet covering the hat parts with a black silk satin.
A LOT of glue was involved and also a lot of hand sewing which wasn’t so easy because the felt was not very easy to sew through.

After the brim and the hat were covered with the silk they got stitched together by hand and I only had left to sew in the lining.
I already sewed it in completley but I decided that I didn’t like the lining and now the hat sits at home waiting for a new one. 😀

The headband also was made in the remaining two days. I sewed in a small piece of rubber band because without it I wouldn’t get it on my head.
I also sewed on millinery wire and covered the headpiece with a wonderful indian changeant dupion silk I had at home.
I decided to not put on my planned decorations because I wanted to wait for the dress design I still need to come up with to go with the headband.

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